DT 26876 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26876 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post before asking questions about the site.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.


1a           Apostle unknown to give church offence (6)
The name of one of the apostles is followed by a mathematical unknown to give the buying or selling of an ecclesiastical benefice, an offence under an act of 1588

11a         Improvement towards end of game from one side (9)
Split as (4,5) this is an improvement towards the end of a game, but it actually means sideways

13a         Title Beatles’ leading pair composed (3,2,2)

17a         Badly ruled country not covered outside nanny state (6,8)
This badly ruled country is derived from a word meaning not covered or naked outside another term used for a nanny followed by an adjective meaning state or governmental

21a         Cross member of Parliament’s last to redeem (7)
To get this cross member start with the final letter (last) of ParliamenT and follow it with a verb meaning to redeem

27a         Developing more by early stage (6)
An anagram (developing) of MORE BY gives an early stage of devepment


1d           Medicine case after some contents removed (8)
To get this medicine put a case expressing an indirect object after the outside letters (contents removed) of SomE

2d           Intend keeping in King’s mistress around for ages (9)
Put a verb meaning to intend around the In from the clue and the first name of the mistress of King Charles II and then reverse the lot (around) to get thousands of years (ages)

9d           Output of Brahms etc — miss one to soothe us entertained by highest of the brass (9,5)
The output of Brahms and other composers is derived from a young miss, I (one), a verb meaning to soothe and US inside (entertained by) the abbreviation for an officer in supreme command of an army to get

18d         White Hart Lane’s rarely welcoming them — the reverse (7)
Hidden and reversed inside the clue is a football team known at White Hart Lane as The Scum

22d         Provide access to Cambridge college after present era (5)
A verb meaning to provide access to comes from an abbreviation of a college in Cambridge, Massachusetts  after the abbreviation of the era since Christ was thought to have been born

The Crossword Club is now open.  Feel free to leave comments.

Please don’t put whole or partial answers or alternative clues in your comment, else they may be censored!

The Quick crossword pun: {vend} + {ire} + {gram} = {Venn diagram}


  1. Brian
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Hard going in parts with some straightforward clues such as 5d and very clever misdirection as in 22d (best clue for me). However, mrs B and I both said ‘what on earth is an ecclesiastical benefice! Religeous clue, Ugh!
    Needed the hints for the t left today so many thanks for that.

    • Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      I do the bookkeeping for our local benefice!

      • Captain Lethargy
        Posted May 26, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        I’m a lapsed Catholic!

        • Franco
          Posted May 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          I’m also a lapsed Catholic! Is there any other sort of Catholic?

          Today’s puzzle added to the many excellent crosswords in the DT this week (both cryptic & Toughie). So – many thanks to the crossword editor and, of course, to all the Setters & Bloggers.

          Favourites: 4a & 10a. Surely 10a deserved a clip!

          • mary
            Posted May 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            Me, I’m not lapsed but I think i’ve been sacked!!

            • Franco
              Posted May 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

              Wot! Excommunicated? What on earth did you do? :wink:

              • gnomethang
                Posted May 27, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

                She got caught booting Bishop Brennan up the Arse!

      • Brian
        Posted May 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Still not sure what a benefice is. Is it the vicar?
        Btw what has the first word in 14a got to do with chairman?

        • Hrothgar
          Posted May 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          The clue is an anagram, “in trouble” is the indicator.

          • Brian
            Posted May 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            Thx for that, should have seen it from the v in the clue. Classic case of knowing the answer but not understanding the wordplay :-)

  2. Colmce
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Bottom half and the bigger clues went in very quickly then ground to a shuddering halt.
    Finally managed to crack the rest. 1a was a new one on me.
    Thanks for the hints, not needed ( but it was a near thing).
    Thanks to compiler for an entertaining puzzle.

  3. spindrift
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    1d came straight away, having spent 5 years studying the “dead language” I still remember my cases after almost 40 years. After that the bottom half was a breeze but came to a halt in the NW corner but persevated and got there in the end.

    Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints which although not needed did in fact explain my answer for 9d.

    Now just have to wait for the NTSPP which should arrive at the same time as the first of the cold beers of the day.

  4. Mark L-H
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Always nice to learn a new word! (1a). Got bogged down in top left – wouldn’t have got through without hints today. Always nice to complete it though, even with help. Love the way 9d was constructed – knew it had to be the right answer, but couldn’t work out why.

  5. Mark L-H
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    My comment is “awaiting moderation” whatever that means……. I’m being counted down!! Will my iPad explode when it gets to zero?

    • gazza
      Posted May 26, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Moderation was needed because you’ve previously been only ‘Mark’. Both aliases should work from now on.

  6. Dickiedot
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Wow that was tough, needed clues thanks BD

  7. toadson
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    For me, the toughest Sat puzzle for a good while. I made myself a note to look out for BD’s comment on 18a!

  8. gnomethang
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    A few clues went in without parsing the wordplay but I went back to work things out. A nice stiff test for a Saturday.
    A few clues to pander to my upbringing and hobbies, being another lapsed Catholic , studying Latin to OLevel and playing the guitar – which gives us both 4a and 5d in the following vid:
    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5J2sMq18qs&version=3&hl=en_GB%5D
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  9. Caravaggio
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I thought that this was a most enjoyable puzzle and it’s the first time this year that I’ve sat on my garden seat to complete it, although the stiff breeze has been annoying… I particularly liked 4a and 10a, which both brought a smile to my face – the latter because I’m a guitar player and saw the answer straight away.

  10. Jezza
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one today – a few to think about, which is unusual for a Saturday.
    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

  11. Digby
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    A perfect accompaniment for a sublime Saturday in Heavenly Henfield.
    A fine puzzle, with a nicely balanced mix of clues.
    1a not a familiar word, but perfectly fair, and helped once 1d had “clicked”.

    Now, let me guess, BD – you couldn’t possibly be a Spurs fan?
    Pity about the Champion’s League, but I’m sure you don’t begrudge them that – much!
    Thanks to our Saturday Setter.

  12. Bemused
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    A good puzzle today, I thought. Took a little longer than usual, with some pleasing clues and others that had me confused for a while. Got the answer to 9d from the definition but struggled to work out the subsidiary, though I got it eventually. (The same was true of 2d, come to think of it.)

  13. Hrothgar
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Book token will be on its way, I hope.
    Last in 10a when penny dropped.
    Thanks setter and BD

  14. nubian
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I;m not a lapsed Catholic, I used to be a practicing one but once I had sussed it I didn’t need to go anymore. Any road up I enjoyed todays puzzle Catholic or not.
    Thanks to B Dave and the Setter….Got me thinking now, what was that Apostles particular forte that got him hitched to that epithet ?, must wiki it

    • nubian
      Posted May 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink


  15. Pam
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    13a got me started and for me it will be a clue hard to beat!

    • Franco
      Posted May 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      13a was also my first one in.

      A very nice surface reading although I think that Mr McCartney composed it all on his own!

  16. Posted May 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    At first glance this looked like a frightful crossword for me. The east side however went in quite easily and then the SW followed. Struggled on the NE so thanks for the hints BD. All in all very enjoyable. The sun is out in Chamonix so I’m off to walk the pooch :-)

  17. The Buffer
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Struggled with some parts today, but very enjoyable. Thanks to BD and setter.
    Spindrift: lovely day like today and Petersen smacking ’em all over that splendid ground; why are you not at Trent Bridge? I would be if I still lived in Lowdham. Greetings all from the benefice of Gosforth, Nether Wasdale and St.Olaf’s Wasdale Head.

  18. Aristotle
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    This took rather longer than normal although Mrs A and I managed to complete it without help except the dictionary for 1A. That said we spent a fair time dissecting and reconsidering some of the clues to justify our answers !
    Our thanks to the setter for exercising our grey matter to the max.

  19. makada
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    A crossword of two halves, bottom straightforward but the top, especially the NE corner was tough.
    Never heard of 1a which meant 1d took ages but did lol when the penny dropped on the Lady Gaga clue.

    • Hrothgar
      Posted May 26, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Don’t think I recall seeing Gaga as a trigger (if that’s the right word) before.
      Creating trigger words must be an art form for setters.:)

      • crypticsue
        Posted May 26, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        Cephas who set today’s puzzle has the best anagram indicators of anyone I know.

        • Posted May 26, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

          I think it was Cephas last week.

          • crypticsue
            Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

            It was too – its been a very long day. Left home at 6.30 am, went to Banbury and back and its been very hot. I promise I will be awake tomorrow.

  20. Posted May 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable today. Must go having ling Una for dinner?

  21. crypticsue
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Back from a long day out visiting my sister in Banbury (no I didn’t see any ladies on white horses, with rings, bells or anything else). I thought this slightly tougher than usual but wondered if that was because I was solving in a car but I see that others found it so. Lots and lots of dots by clues I liked today so a big thank you to Cephas and to BD too.

  22. Kath
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Very late here today – hot – been gardening ALL day so a bit burnt too – never mind will be OK by tomorrow.
    Did most of this one in dribs and drabs when the need for some shade and some water became necessary.
    I thought that this was quite difficult for a Saturday. I needed the hints to explain several and I’m still stuck on 26a and 20d. A hint (or two) would be most welcome.
    I thought that 8d was an absolutely fantastic clue – how has no-one else mentioned it?
    With thanks to Cephas and BD and anyone who can help with my last two.

    • Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      26a Old TV game show featuring proverbial name-caller and his insult (3,5)
      This TV game show was based on snooker – you could say that, in the proverb, the *** calls the kettle *****. Easy when you know how!

      • Kath
        Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

        Thank you – as you say it’s easy when you know how! Anyway snooker is yet another of the things about which I know NOTHING! :smile:

    • Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      20d Provoke heartless rider’s support (4,2)
      This phrasal verb meaning to provoke is created by dropping the middle letter (heartless) from something used to support the foot of a horse rider.

      • Kath
        Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        Thanks again – why is my comment awaiting moderation? I haven’t done anything different.

        • Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          I quote:

          “Some comments have not yet been checked for spam by Akismet. They have been temporarily held for moderation.”

  23. NotNero
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I have, what I think is the correct answer for 7d but I do not understand the clue

    • Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      7d Soften having sacked indefinite number and hire again (5)
      Drop the indefinite number from a word meaning to soften or ease off to get a verb meaning to hire again. In crosswords there are constants like c, the speed of light, algebraic unknowns, like the one in 1a, and a letter used to represent a value that is indefinite, which is the one needed here.

  24. cephas
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Cephas last week and next week, but not this week.

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 27, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Sorry for rthe confusion – I think it was the long day in the unaccustomed heat :)

  25. Kath
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Forget 20d and 26a – Gnomey’s law operated and I managed them all on my own! :smile:
    Sleep well all.

    • Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Too late – I’ve added them!

      • Kath
        Posted May 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        Thanks anyway! :smile:

  26. Weekend Wanda
    Posted May 27, 2012 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Roll on Sunday. Positively and absolutely not on Fridays wavelength. Saturday – enjoyed the long clues although took me a while to get first word of 14a. Could not get past shaving! Well hidden anagram in 27a. Did not like the NW corner at all. Needed help. I noticed Cephas on here denying responsibility!

  27. Heno
    Posted May 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter & to Big Dave for the hints. I enjoyed this one, got a bit stuck for a while, but perservated through in the end. Started with 3d finished with 4a. Favourites were 13&a26a & 18d, although I think Big Dave has got the wrong team for scum in the hint :-)

  28. Little Dave
    Posted May 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful weather in East Hertfordshire. I thought this puzzle was quite challenging in parts and I particularly liked 10a which I thought was rather clever.

  29. Derek
    Posted May 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Very late input from me – was in Amsterdam last night with my daughter’s family to celebrate her birthday anniversary – got home after midnight at their place.
    Finished the puzzle this morning.

    Faves : 1a, 17a, 25a, 26a, 2d, 9d & 18d.

    Got to my home after lunch and watched the Monaco GP on the box.

    Shall do the Sunday puzzle after dinner.

  30. Helen
    Posted May 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for clues – tho had got most of them without help! Last in 4a, 12a, 6d.

  31. MVJ Pilot
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the hints BD et al. It certainly execised the little grey cells. I needed help for the NE corner and I still can’t work out 9d. Oh I just got it, must report back to the boss, she’s a clever lass and probably already got it. 1d also found difficult. Still all finished so time for a whisky and cigar.

    • Posted May 28, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog MVJ Pilot

      • MVJ Pilot
        Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Dave, been using the site for a couple of months. Great to see the hints and the banter. Struggling a bit the last 4 clues on today’s DT. Must be time to have a look at the hints again!